Hindi Diwas – Sydney Fringe Festival
Celebrating Hindi Diwas amid an Australian audience
Language is the most beautiful form of communication for it is just words that work magic and cast an indelible impression in our minds. The process of communication becomes more wonderful when diverse languages of disparate cultures unite together on a platform and connect one being with the other.
The Abhinay School of Performing Arts touted Sydney’s premier institution for art, theatre and cultural events is that bridge that offers a unique platform to aspiring and established performers. Its artistic programs reflect the Indian-Australian connection that strives to expand the sub-continental culture’s expressive range, fostering its stylistic evolution in Australia. In 2012, Abhinay School celebrated Hindi Diwas at the SydneyFringe Festival.
Sydney Fringe Festival was held from September 7 to September 30 and held over 250 events across more than 70 venues. Hindi Diwas is a significant occasion on the Indian calendar marking the day (September 14, 1949) India adopted Hindi as its National language in the Indian constitution. Aishveryaa proudly showcased this beautiful language at RangMahotsav as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival 2012 . In this 60-minute solo act performance, artist Aishveryaa Nidhi read unread chapters of a woman’s life who embraced darkness with open arms. Gandhari speaks her heart out for the first time. She assumes centre-stage and tells Mahabharata from her perspective- a perspective which is unheard of. Subtitles for non-Hindi speaking audience sufficed and conveyed the intended message embedded in the play. The relevance of the play in the contemporary world is it highlights the anti-war theme and the role of women, especially the mother in educating the society to give up violence.
The chief guest for the evening was Honourable Phillip Ruddock, ex-Attorney General and ex-Immigration minister of Australia. Aishveryaa gave a very moving performance. One person playing multiple roles is always a tough proposition for any artist but Aishveryaa’s rendition of every character was distinct and neat. From representing the conceited Bheeshma, tranquil Lord Krishna, disobedient Kauravas and helpless Pandavas to returning back to the victimised Gandhari, Aishveryaa fared extremely well in the transition. It was an act worth of standing ovation and she got it with lots of applause.
On September 16, 2012, Abhinay held ‘Indradhanush’ – a Festival of plays in Hindi/Hindustani involving more than 30 actors. Plays included Alex Broun’s ‘Cate Blanchet wants to be my friend on facebook’, ‘ Auckland’ and ‘Australia is tree growing in a garden in Chennai’, Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia’s ‘Nazdekee Dooriyan’, Sukhpreet Dhamoon’s ‘Dhalti Parchayian’, Arvind Shukla’s ‘Enjoying to the max’ and a special performance of Sepy Baghaei’s award winning play ‘Something to be done’ by Gabriel McCarthy. Dhalti Parchhayian (Waning Shadows) is a play that won the ‘Best Play’ as well as ‘Audience Choice’ award during Indradhanush – 2011, which was a first ever festival of short plays in Hindi in Australia.